Coronavirus update – Latest on Grants, Loans and other Funding

COVID-19 Coronavirus

Following on from yesterday’s update regarding support available to your business, and the chancellor’s announcement yesterday of additional support available to businesses, we would like to update you regarding the loans and grants available to small businesses:

The Government announced last night that the amount businesses can borrow through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme has increased from £1.2 million to £5 million

They also announced measures to ensure businesses can access the first 6 months of that finance interest free, with interest payments during that period covered by the Government.

Applications via the British Business Bank website Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme page  once details have been finalised.

If you are considering a loan to support you through a short term cash flow problem, please do have a longer term plan in place to ensure you are able to meet repayment obligations.

The Government also announced that they would provide £20 billion of business rates support and grant funding to help the most-affected firms manage their cashflow through this period by:

  • giving all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England a 100% business rates holiday for the next 12 months
  • increasing grants to small businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief from £3,000 to £10,000
  • providing further £25,000 grants to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000

As per previous communication, this is likely to be implemented through your local council, which you can find details of here.

For those businesses based in Stockport, you can find further information here.

Further details on how to apply and other eligibility criteria will follow as soon as they are announced.

Restaurants and Pubs
Will be allowed to start providing take away services without the usual planning regulations in an attempt to support both the food industry and those individuals self isolating at home. 

Mortgage lenders have agreed they will support customers that are experiencing issues with their finances as a result of Covid-19, including through payment holidays of up to 3 months.

Other lending
A number of banks and building societies have introduced easier access to finance and done away with penalties, fines and arrangement fees for the coming weeks and months. Check with your bank for what support they are able to offer. 

The HMRC COVID-19 Guidance for employers page, has now been updated as at 18 March 2020.

HMRC COVID-19 Helpline – 0800 0159 5599
The line is open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, and Saturday 8am to 4pm.

Link to my previous article with further updates, links and guidance can be found here.

For now, stay safe, and look after yourselves and one another.

Very best wishes
Sarah x

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